Configurable DCC prevention

How about offering people the chance to automatically decline DCC (dynamic currecny conversion) transactions. i.e. if the transaction type is a face-to-face environment (get from POS entry mode?) and the merchant country (get from card acceptor name/location) does not equal the relevant transaction currency and the customer has chosen to decline such transactions.

I would love this. For something that is apparently a benefit to consumers, DCC makes me sad whenever I realise I’ve experienced it.

Obviously it would only work with online authorised transactions but I assume that is most of them at the moment - will this change once you are offering debit cards?


Yes - such an anti scam feature would definitely be good, however the challenge is to detect it reliably. As far as I know it’s not a bit that’s sent to signal it’s a DCC transaction, so Monzo would indeed have to infer it from the merchant’s name, location, etc.

I initially thought there’s no way to detect it, but you made me think.
I assumed that all DCC ‘decisions’ are done on ATM/POS side, while what’s actually sent is just authorisation request (with merchant details, money details etc). Mozno can determine merchant details and location and automatically reject payment/withdrawal if currency is GBP, but location of merchant is not.

I think maybe this could work, setting against account, that ATM and POS transactions can be rejected. Of course, online is a whole different story, I would expect many merchants with foreign addresses, but charging without DCC in GBP.

Overall, anything that can be done to prevent DCC, I’d be happy to see. In most cases though, it’s possible to avoid, navigate away or get out of DCC (even if you have to do this three times for one withdrawal!), so it wouldn’t be high on my priority list.

I’m aware that there must be some Monzo users who went abroad without learning the truth about DCC and unknowingly falling prey :smiley: . Monzo could apply same check between location and currency for transactions and inform/educate user proactively after transaction is made. This seems more doable and achievable in short term. It would be a good test if users appreciate info sent in this way too.


I’m not sure I’d want a notification every time I made a transaction that had, had DCC applied to it but if I rarely made those transactions (& presumably usually avoid choosing DCC) or it was the 1st time that I’d made one, that would helpful. If I had a data connection, I guess I could ask the merchant to refund the payment there & then too…

A warning from users in the Wikis (which will be included in the “welcome to x” notifications) would be helpful too :wink:

I actually meant nice message from COps, because I don’t think we have enough positive opinions about Monzo Support, it’s only 99,56% good. :wink:

Having it automated (once) might be ok IMO, but for such an important aspect of user journey, I’d be afraid for it to get lost. DCC is pushed so much, including double negative sentences in English that make you question your life&God, that it’s somewhat imperative to know about it, to get good Monzo experience (not the only thing to know, but one that’s directly related to savings!).


haha :smiley: yes I agree with you about the linguistic challenges we now face! On a recent trip (I think maybe it was New Zealand) I had to navigate two extra screens on an ATM cash withdrawal to avoid DCC. The ATM screens were using clever language which, if I recall correctly, kind of implied I was cancelling the entire withdrawal if I didn’t accept.

Given the kind of brain-haze you are often operating in (different languages, cultures, heat, luggage, jet-lag etc.) the last thing you need is some riddle-me-dee POS machine or ATM setting you a verbal reasoning test!

In the past year I’ve been caught at a hotel where the guy just didn’t know how to use the POS machine and insisted it would go through in Euros (Greece) - it didn’t. I’ve also been nearly been caught at Bangkok airport duty free - there they took the card away and swiped then brought back a large piece of paper for me to sign. I saw they had charged me in GBP so I refused to sign and they refunded me; they then said I couldn’t use the same card again…


I don’t know that this is feasible, but it’d be great if when going abroad one could switch a setting to say ‘for card-present transactions, accept only EUR’, or whichever currency.

The goal being to avoid accidentally accepting the conversion being done by someone other than Monzo(/Mastercard).

Or even better, it could be a prompted change based on (phone) location.


Perhaps a note in the instant notification stating it had been declined as the payment was not in the local currency? So you’d know to try again.

There was a news report recently (cannot find it) which said that in some places the card machine displays an extra screen, so staff can override any selection you’ve made to pay in local currency and select Dynamic Currency Conversion. The advice is always check the receipt to ensure you’ve paid in the correct way.

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@OJFord, @j06 I moved your posts here, we were trying to figure once before if there’s a way to do it! :smiley:

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That is rubbish, in many establishments their setup is set to a default so there is as little intervention or interaction by staff or customer as possible to make the process simpler and quicker. Some default all card transactions to the local currency and others to the card currency rather than present a screen asking the cashier to chose or override. In can be a hassle when you are given no choice for DCC or not, but worse when the retailer thinks your card is USD rather than GBP or EUR :joy:

It’s more than a hassle, it’s illegal and/or against the card network rules.

European law states the currency that customers are charged in must be agreed before the transaction, and if currency conversion is offered the customer must know all charges and the exchange rate beforehand too.

Mastercard and Visa, which facilitate the majority of consumer global payments, also say a customer must always give permission for a company to bill them in their own home currency rather than local currency. This means any business, wherever in the world you are paying, should not be overriding or changing your choice after you enter your PIN.

And this isn’t rubbish, it’s reported to be a problem.

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It may be against the rules but it is widespread even in the UK so is not a problem limited to our travels abroad. While ‘European law states the currency that customers are charged in must be agreed before the transaction’ there is a legal argument that as prices are not displayed in multiple currencies a customer agreeing a purchase is effectively agreeing to the displayed price and currency before the transaction by taking an item to a till if any price label displays a currency symbol, as for DCC options some terminals skips these options and do not give customers the choice. But even if they legally supposed to have the choice, who is going to check all retailers and force them to upgrade terminals or their software it just isn’t going to happen.

I guess that’s exactly why a feature like the one that’s been requested would be useful then :slight_smile:


That’s the article I’d remembered! It was driving me mad as I knew I’d read it but couldn’t remember where.


I linked it in my DCC guide, and yes, I’m only replying to make a shameless plug! :joy_cat:


It would be great to have the option to auto-decline all DCC transactions (currency of transaction matches the home currency of the card, not the merchant’s home currency) as these are a rip-off and generally done without consent.


Unfortunately this isn’t really possible at Monzo’s end given that the whole point of DCC is that the issuer only gets the authorisation in the home currency (Sterling).

It’s very possible. If the currency code on the authorisation is GBP and the merchant is in a country that doesn’t use GBP, decline the transaction. Obviously, it could cause issues with online merchants and stuff so needs to be switchable.

Yeah, I guess that could work. But as you say, online transactions would need to be accounted for.

And situations like Hong Kong where the authorisation is almost always DCC, even if the settlement isn’t (since you pick on a paper slip - watch like a hawk, dishonest merchants ignore your choice frequently). It should be a switch, an optional security feature those of us who want can switch on and off.